The RightWay Foundation was built out of a recognition that most youth aging out or emancipating from the foster care system have experienced a lot of trauma. Pain and feelings of powerlessness do not just disappear.
The RightWay Foundation works with current or emancipated foster youth to move from a point of pain and disappointment to a point of power, productivity, and self-sufficiency. Without confronting their past trauma in a healthy way, it is difficult for our youth to hold a job, support their families, or have a rewarding future. Therapy and counseling are a major part of the employment model at The RightWay Foundation. They are laced within the initial 'Operation Emancipation' job training services and are continued in one-on-one and group settings for program participants.
Building a prosperous future with the right foundation, one foster youth at a time.
A better tomorrow, for every foster youth, grounded in mental health treatment and solidified through employment.
The RightWay Foundation believes:
- Foster Care Transition Age Youth (TAY) deserve to transition to safe, comfortable self-sufficiency when they exit from the foster care system.
- As long as foster care youth can easily access a proper support system, they are capable of self-sufficiency.
- The supports foster youth need the most include: housing, therapy, job placement, financial literacy, career counseling, and education.
What We've Achieved
The RightWay Foundation is increasing positive outcomes for foster youth enrolled in our program.
- In the past year, compared to a 51% unemployment rate among CA foster youth within 2-4 years of emancipation, 86% of The RightWay participants secured employment/paid internships
- Compared to only 1% of CA foster youth attending college, 24% of The RightWay participants enrolled in college within the last year
- 0% of The RightWay participants became incarcerated the last fiscal year, compared to 25% incarceration rate of CA foster youth within 2 years of emancipation
- 36% of CA foster youth become homeless within 18 months of emancipation, but only 14% of The RightWay participants experienced homelessness after taking part in our program the past year
Operation Emancipation is RightWay Foundation’s revolutionary employment and life-preparedness program for foster youth transitioning to adulthood. It is a 6-part initiative to help current and emancipated foster youth gain financial independence and make a safe, comfortable transition into self-sufficiency when they exit the foster care system. It is the first of its kind in the way in which it couples mental health services with job readiness and financial literacy training, and in the inspirational leadership of its facilitators.
Program elements include:
- One-on-One Therapy
- Healthy Relationships
- Job Hunting and Work Readiness
- "Not Just a Job"
- Financial Literacy
- "Foster Kids Do Make It"
The RightWay provides access to customized career and academic counseling for its foster youth. Depending on the specific need, assistance will be provided to help foster youth enroll in and manage financial assistance for G.E.D. preparation, ESL, high school, occupational and vocational training, community college, or a four-year college. Additionally, opportunities for interviews, recruitment events and professional networking are also available.
The RightWay Foundation also provides specialized trauma-informed training for employers of our foster youth. Licensed social workers and therapists provide this training, as well as individuals who have been within the LA County's foster care system. The training includes discussing what it means to be trauma-informed, what challenges a 'typical' foster youth coming out of the system is facing, and how an employer can best support them. The purpose of this training is to provide employers with a lower turnover rate and allow employees who have been in foster care to feel welcome at their new jobs.
The Rightway Foundation has built a strong reputation in the Los Angeles area and has earned foster youth referrals from an array of entities. These referral partners include the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), County Independent Living Program (ILP)coordinators, transitional housing programs, group homes, foster parents, and other types of non-profit organizations. All of these groups refer their foster youth to us because they are aware of the impact we have had in the community and in the lives of the youth we work with.
The RightWay leadership has also been active within the nonprofit community regarding foster care TAY employment and employment services for homeless youth. The RightWay’s community activism includes leadership of the jobs component of the South LA TAY Collaborative, and active partnership with CASA, Alliance for Children’s Rights, and others.